What you do immediately after an accident is extremely important. Like a crime scene, witnesses and evidence tend to vanish the longer you wait to collect them. If you are injured in the accident then it is even more crucial to gather as much info as you can. Of course this is difficult to while you’re in an ambulance, so feel free to take note of these steps and spread the word so that someone you love can save your case for you!
If it is at all possible to leave your vehicle where it is after a wreck then do so. The police may decide it needs to be moved if it can be, but don’t volunteer to clear the roadway on your own. Preserving the scene for photos is key to a good case.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so take a thousand of them. Seriously start from one end of the vehicle and plaster it with photos all the way around until you get back to the starting point. Don’t get creative though. Your lawyer is not impressed with Instagram filters or crazy dramatic angles. Take photos of the accident area including skid marks or ruts in the grass. Most phones are equipped with a panoramic setting. If you can, stand in the center of the accident and spin while taking a panoramic shot. These are really valuable as it allows your attorney to essentially stand in your shoes and see what you see.
Spend your time after the accident gathering the info of those who come to your aid. These people are usually going to be your most favorable witnesses. The other driver’s information is handy, but a quick photo of the license plate will give the police all they need if that person takes off. Since they are required by law to stay, spend your time meeting the other people who can freely leave. Names addresses and phone numbers and what they saw is all you need. The more names you get the better because there is usually at least one witness who will later regret getting involved and become a ghost. Your lawyer will need to talk to these people for an affidavit supporting your point of view.
Don’t Admit Anything!
We live in the South. We apologize for everything. But don’t dare apologize in a car wreck case even if it was your fault. Alabama is one of the rare states in which fault can fall on both parties. In other words if you pulled out in front of someone, but they were speeding as well, then the right lawyer can argue that you’re both at fault and thus no one wins. Telling the other side you were at fault just gives them more ammo to use against you in court.
Call Your Lawyer!
This should probably be the first advice you follow but lawyers understand if we’re not on your mind after someone t-bones you. As soon as you can, call your lawyer and tell him where the accident occurred and what happened. Most personal injury attorneys worth their salt will start their own investigation immediately and compare notes with you later. I have stood in the pouring rain taking photos of an accident just so I could preserve the scene just as it was at the time it happened (in this case pouring rain played a role in the accident).
A lot goes through your mind when you’re in a wreck. If you can keep these rules in mind after an accident you stand a much better chance at a successful outcome in your case! Have you been injured in an accident? Have you followed these instructions yet? Call a lawyer who can save your case before it’s too late!